Monday, September 11, 2006
Images of 9-11-01 are branded in my memory. I’ll never forget the sight of the planes flying into the towers, the crash at the Pentagon, the crash site in Pennsylvania. I remember the shock of hearing about the first plane, and the horror of hearing about the second. I can still feel the pain when I realized what was happening and that my world would never be the same. I remember thinking about all the victims on the planes and in the buildings and what they must be thinking as they ran for their lives or perished in the fires. Waiting for survivors who were never found. Hearing about fallen heroes. So many lost.

For me, the world changed on 9-11-2001. I knew that there was horror in the world. My family survived the brutality of Nazi Europe. I grew up knowing about terrible things, but they never affected my small oasis of safety – until 9/11.

In the days and weeks to follow, it seemed that people were in a daze. Everyone was touched by those events except for the very young that were spared an understanding of the horror. Flags appeared on homes and cars. People talked of Patriotism and Brotherhood. For a brief time, I felt that we in the United States had a new sense of community. No matter what else we were, we were Americans. We would work together to protect America and her people. Together we would heal, and rebuild, and be stronger and safer.

Five years later, what has happened? As if the losses we suffered that day weren’t enough, we’ve chosen to lose more. Where is that sense of community? Where is that idea that all Americans stand together on common ground?

Our country is divided on so many levels: Politics, Religion, Race, and Sexual Orientation. Five years ago, we all stood united as Americans. Today, schisms divide us. Do you support the right candidate? Do you worship the right God? When did an individual’s private sex life become anyone else’s business?

America is supposed to be a country that opens its arms to others, but lately we can’t even open our arms to accept the natural differences that are to be expected in a free society. I love America, but I’m so saddened that the grief that brought us together five years ago couldn’t sustain us as one community standing for liberty and justice for all.
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

We are a country at war, fighting for democracy and an end to terrorism. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we, at the same time, could be a country fighting for understanding, acceptance, and equality for all?


Blogger Leslie said...

Very eloquent, D.

Blogger soxfan said...

Hear hear.

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